Kentucky football Coach Mark Stoops was visibly upset all throughout the Missouri game yesterday, pacing the sidelines and verbally abusing those poor refs. At one point, he even called a timeout not to talk to the Wildcats, but just to have some extra time to let the ref know what he was feeling. This frustration and anger continued into the post game presser where Stoops commented on the mismatch of talent, if he broke something in the locker room or not, and what the determining factor to win in the SEC is.
STOOPS: Tough day for us out there today. Very tough match‑up. Give Missouri credit; they beat us in all three phases of the game. It’s a very good football team. It was very tough for us to match up. Defensively I thought we had some decent stops. We had an opportunity on several others and they made the play on 3rd down, we didn’t. Offensively we did good things at times. We didn’t do it at the right moments. I think early on it would have been nice to move it a little bit better there when we had good field position after we were up three and got the turnover. I thought that possession hurt. We need to do a better job in that situation. But overall very tough night. Give them credit; they outplayed us in all areas, and we need to improve.
On his frustration throughout the game
STOOPS: It is, it’s frustrating. I’ve got to do a better job. That’s it. It is what it is. It’s a tough situation. I’m trying to fight and claw and help lead this team as best I can. It is frustrating at times, but we all need to do a better job, and we need to overcome adversity. There’s going to be bad plays, there’s going to be adversity, and we’ve all got to handle it better.
On Sanders’ fumble being an example of execution issues
STOOPS: We’re not making the play. I thought Neal (Brown) was set up perfectly. We had some runs off that same action. We had a nice beautiful play action pass set up. We get it out to the 40 after we had just moved it. He’s got to hold onto the ball. That’s it.
On if Missouri’s growth this past season gives you hope for the future
STOOPS: Yeah, I think so. I know guys are working hard and doing the right things. We need to do things better in all areas. I always take responsibility. It starts with myself and the coaching staff, and on to the players, we all need to do better.
On what UK needs the most to win in the SEC
STOOPS: Well, I think there’s so many areas that we need to improve. I think that’s our focus is really improving in all areas. I mean, we need play‑making ability, we need big, physical guys, we need a lot of things. We need linebackers. You’ve got to have a secondary. The match‑ups are so difficult, you play a team like this that spreads you out all over the place with extremely talented wide receivers, and then you go play. We had to play Alabama and all the rest and on the road next year at LSU and then you’ve got to be physical as heck, so you need a lot of bodies. You need a lot of good players and you need some guys that are versatile.
On keeping frustration from boiling over after so many losses
STOOPS: Yeah, it’s hard, but you’ve just got to go back to work, and you’ve got to stick to what I preach all the time, and that’s getting better. I’ve got to get these guys up. We’ve got to get them mentally prepared to practice on Monday and to prepare, and to go out there and compete and try to win a game. That’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to go back to work and stick to the things that I feel are necessary to help build this program. I may get frustrated, but I’m not discouraged.